When you apply for your California Liquor License, part of the approval process is the notification of the community around your proposed location. At times, concerned citizens, organizations, or public officials could protest your application.
If this happens, having an experienced advocate on your side to guide you through the process is invaluable.
The links below will provide you with details.
In order to object to an application, the protesting party must submit their objection in writing within the specific time frame of 30 days. The 30 days begins with either the date of public posting, the date notification was mailed to residents, or the date public officials.
On occasion, if the protesting party is a public official such as a law enforcement agency, a 20-day extension can be requested. Timely received protests are deemed valid upon receipt. However, a protest by a private citizen must be reviewed by the ABC to determine if there are legal grounds for it.
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It is critical to take the proper steps in resolving your protested application. You must understand the type of protest filed and follow the appropriate course of action to move your case forward and avoid long delays.
Having an experienced advocate in your corner such as Alcoholic Beverage Consulting Service will assure you that your protested case is processed properly. We work hard to get you to the point of an Interim Operating Permit (Interim Retail Permit). This is an important milestone as it allows your business to operate during the appeals process. However, this Interim Operating Permit is only possible when the ABC is recommending an approval of your liquor license. Therefore, it becomes crucial to work diligently with the Licensing Representative who will ultimately determine if your case is worthy of an approval recommendation.
Alcoholic Beverage Consulting Service has years of experience dealing with protested applications and we are your advocate!
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Most commonly, public official protests are law enforcement, school officials, and city officials. Private citizen protests tend to be neighbors, business competitors, religious leaders/organizations, or organized activists.
With public officials, often you can meet with the official and agree upon conditions of approval for your alcohol license. When this is accomplished, it usually can lead to the withdrawal of the protest. However, if a common ground can not be reached, then the ABC will need to decide the ultimate fate of the protest and license application.
Resolving a private citizen protest, however, will typically depend upon the motivation of the person or organization lodging the protest. Our first step in getting you through this process will be to discover the reason for the objection and determine whether or not mitigating conditions for approval will be attainable.
Our experience with this type of action will help you to achieve resolution as expeditiously as possible.
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However, there are instances where the protest is filed by a competing business. In these cases, the competitor feels threatened by the proposed new business and they are using the ABC as a way to delay or prevent legal competition. This is an abuse of the process and although we will typically prevail, they can cost you expensive and lengthy delays. Our goal in this situation is to act on your behalf to resolve the issue as fast as possible.
There are occasions where the ABC may step in and attempt to negotiate with both parties in order reach an agreement.
Because of our years of experience orchestrating the sale and transfer of liquor licenses in the state of California, we have seen nearly every type of protest imaginable. Our expertise in drafting conditions and working with applicants, protestants, and the ABC assures that you will have the finest representation possible leading to resolution without undue delay.